Opening Our Hearts to the Natural World

Both loving-kindness practice and being in nature are ways for us to abide more naturally in a sense of open-hearted connection.

In this particular meditation we’re going to explore the relationship of love and nature, in particular, opening our hearts to the natural world. 

We live on this beautiful planet, this beautiful earth, and you could say we’re here because of love—because of the love that comes from nature and the abundance of this earth. And I think for many of us, one of the easiest places that our heart is touched and is opened, where we feel a sense of connection and kinship and love is in nature. Whether it’s just looking up at the night sky, seeing a bird fly by our window, or when we’re more deeply in the woods or walking in a park—wherever we may find ourselves in a natural setting. 

Moving Beyond Our Sense of Self

And so with loving-kindness practice, what’s most helpful is to find the most supportive place or environment that allows you to feel that sense of connection. So ideally, you’re doing this practice in a natural setting such as a park, or you could be sitting on your deck or in a garden, or out by the ocean where you feel a sense of warmth or love or connection with…


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About the author

Mark Coleman

Mark Coleman is a Dharma teacher at Spirit Rock and has taught Insight Meditation retreats since 1997 worldwide. Mark is passionate about integrating meditation and nature and leads wilderness retreats through his organization Awake in the Wild and runs annual Nature Meditation teacher trainings. Cofounder of the Mindfulness Training Institute, Mark coeads year-long mindfulness teacher trainings in Europe and the US. He is author of Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery and Make Peace With Your Mind and his recent book From Suffering to Peace. He lives in Sausalito, Marin and likes nothing more than hiking, biking, and kayaking in the outdoors. Find out more at